WWF ’s The River Panda recycled PET boat joins the race for a cleaner Tisza River | WWF
WWF ’s The River Panda recycled PET boat joins the race for a cleaner Tisza River

Posted on 03 July 2017

WWF-Hungary’s catamaran will participate in the fifth PET Cup event 1-9 July
Budapest – WWF-Hungary’s catamaran The River Panda will participate in the fifth PET Cup event 1-9 July. The competition with custom built boats made of recycled PET bottles aims to clean the floodplain of the Tisza River and promote environmental awareness. The boats have to meet a number of requirements, for example they can only use renewable energy like paddles or sails. The PET bottles are collected from the river and its floodplain.

As of now, the PET Cup participants have removed almost 10 metric tons of pollutants from the Tisza, discovered more than 60 heavily polluted coastal areas and completely cleared 20 of them. As part of the PET Cup, more than 30 recycled boats have been built and local communities joined the environmental protection efforts.

As PET pirates the WWF-Hungary team will paddle down the river from the town of Dombrad to Tiszalok. The route includes other stops along the way such as Ibrany, Balsa, Tokaj and Tiszaladany. The finale of the PET Cup, on the beach of Tiszalok will coincide with WWF’s Big Jump event on 9 July and attract the attention to our waters and the importance of their protection.

What is the PET Cup aiming at?

The significant problem with plastic bottle waste in the Tisza River was the main reason for starting the PET Cup. The PET Cup initiative is an attempt to stop the recurring waves of pollution. It identifies the worst-polluted spots and works to clean the floodplains and the river itself. The task is enormous and there are many ways people can help. They can fight for a cleaner Tisza by navigating down the river, giving school presentations, sitting in an editing room or even from their desk.

About the Tisza River

The Tisza is one of the main rivers of Central Europe. It is the longest tributary of the Danube and the river’s largest sub-basin. Originating near Rakhiv in Ukraine, the river flows west, roughly following Ukraine's borders with Romania, then Hungary, and finally Serbia. It enters Hungary at Tiszabecs. A few kilometers south of the Hungarian city of Szeged, it enters Serbia. Finally, it joins the Danube near the village of Novi Slankamen in Vojvodina, Serbia. The Tisza drains an area of about 156,087 km2 and has a length of 965 km.

The Tisza has a rich and varied wildlife. Over 200 species of birds reside in the bird reserve of Tiszafured. The floodplains along the river boast a great variety of plant and animal life. Every year, in late spring or early summer, the Tisza bursts into life with millions of mayflies (Palingenia longicauda). Known as the Tisza mayfly or long-tailed mayfly, it is the largest of its species in Europe. The annual appearance of these ephemeral, aquatic insects is an indicator of clean, unpolluted water.

PET Cup 2017 route on Google Maps:

Between 1st and 9th July the WWF-Hungary's team is joining this year’s PET Cup, a local initiative with the aim of cleaning the Tisza River and its floodplains.
© WWF-Hungary